10/08/2011 § Leave a comment

Now that we’ve been safe for  a night, I start to hear people learning to excuse the rioters. Allow me to predict a couple of their lines.

First we’ll hear that the rioters were deprived. I would disagree. If you’re rioting out of hunger, you raid the supermarket. You don’t break into Halfords and steal a satnav.

Second, we’ll hear people saying it’s about politics. Probably about cuts. These rioters have flown no flag, they have made no statement of their political wishes. You’d know if it was a political riot because people would be chanting slogans.

Third, it’s only a matter of time before people say that it’s because of racism. No one is talking about race in these riots; which I think is doing a lot of communities a disservice. Bearing in mind the amount of shit that the Muslim community has had to put up with over the past decade, the fact that Tower Hamlets and Finsbury Park have been models of order should be on the front page of every damned paper in the country. If it was racism, it would kick off with the communities that really are persecuted – Afghans, Nigerians, Somalis, etc – and not native-born Londoners.

Fourth, police oppression. If you’re upset about the police, you attack the police. You don’t attack JJB Sports.

The rioters didn’t ask to be excused or explained. And yet we’re already starting. It’s an instinct – we always try to understand both sides of the picture, believing some kind of synthesis of the two is a solution for everyone. A situation where there was a right side and a wrong side simply doesn’t fit with this worldview.

However, these riots started when a law-agnostic underclass lost their fear of arrest. It focused on acquiring movable items with high resale values. It demanded no concessions, it simply grabbed with both hands. It is not a coincidence that the riots stopped when 16,000 police were deployed on the streets. This really is as simple, as petty and as unattractive as it sounds.

No justification needed.


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